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What is the Instant Pot cake pan used for?

The Instant Pot cake pan is a special pan designed for baking cakes in the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. It allows you to bake moist, delicious cakes using the heating element in your Instant Pot. The cake pan takes advantage of the Instant Pot’s ability to circulate hot air and create a humid environment – perfect conditions for baking cakes. In this article, we will discuss what the Instant Pot cake pan is, how it works, tips for using it successfully, and some of the benefits of baking cakes in your Instant Pot.

What is the Instant Pot Cake Pan?

The Instant Pot cake pan is a round aluminum pan with a removable base that is specially designed to fit inside the Instant Pot inner pot. The size and shape are made to work with the Instant Pot heating element and take advantage of the circulated hot air and steam environment inside the Instant Pot.

Most Instant Pot cake pans are 7 inches in diameter and 3 inches tall, which is the perfect size to fit in a 6 quart or larger Instant Pot. The pan has taller, straight sides compared to a typical round cake pan. This allows the batter to rise up higher and creates a nicely domed cake.

The removable base on the cake pan is a key feature. It allows you to easily lift the finished cake out of the pan after baking. The base also helps conduct and distribute heat evenly to the cake as it bakes. No need to line the pan with parchment – the nonstick coating allows your cake to come out of the pan cleanly.

Main Features of the Instant Pot Cake Pan

  • Made of lightweight aluminum for even heating
  • Nonstick coating for easy release
  • 7 inches diameter x 3 inches tall – fits 6 quart or larger Instant Pot
  • Removable bottom base for easy cake removal
  • Taller sides allow batter to rise high for dome-shaped cake

You can find the Instant Pot cake pan in most retailers that sell Instant Pot appliances and accessories. It’s quite inexpensive – usually between $10-$15 USD. Some Instant Pots also come with the cake pan included.

How Does the Instant Pot Cake Pan Work?

Baking a cake in the Instant Pot using the special cake pan takes advantage of two key factors:

Circulating Hot Air

The Instant Pot works by sealing in steam and allowing the internal temperature to rise. A heating element in the base heats the inner pot and air inside. This hot air circulates around the cake pan, creating an oven-like environment.

Moist Humid Environment

As the Instant Pot pressurizes, steam is trapped inside. This moisture helps keep the cake from drying out as it bakes. The humid environment gives cakes a softer crumb and moist texture.

Using the cake pan in the Instant Pot gives very similar results to baking in a traditional oven. The cake batter will rise up the sides of the pan as it bakes. The removable bottom makes it easy to pop the finished cake out of the pan.

Tips for Using the Instant Pot Cake Pan

Here are some tips to ensure cake success when using the Instant Pot cake pan:

Adjust Cooking Time for Cake Size

Most cake recipes are written for a standard 9 inch round cake pan. Since the Instant Pot cake pan is smaller at just 7 inches wide, you’ll need to reduce the cooking time by a few minutes. Generally reducing the time by 5-10 minutes is enough for the smaller cake size.

Check Cake for Doneness

Use a toothpick to test if the cake is fully cooked through. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake – if it comes out clean, your cake is finished baking. If batter still clings to the toothpick, return to cook for a few more minutes.

Allow Natural Release

Don’t quick release pressure after the cook time is up. Allow the pressure to come down naturally for 10-15 minutes. This prevents the cake from deflating or sinking as the steam is released.

Use a Cake Strip or Foil

Covering the outside of the pan with a cake strip or aluminum foil helps prevent the sides of the cake from overbaking. This encourages even rising and keeps the edges moist.

Check Water Level

Don’t fill the inner pot with too much water, as this can make the cake soggy on the bottom. Use 1 cup water for most standard cake recipes.

Benefits of Using the Instant Pot Cake Pan

Baking cakes in the Instant Pot using the special cake pan provides several advantages:

Moist Texture

The humid environment prevents cakes from drying out. Instant Pot cakes have a soft, moist crumb.

Even Rising

The circulating hot air helps cakes rise evenly, creating a nice dome shape. No sunken centers!

Shorter Bake Time

Most cake recipes take 5-10 minutes less time to bake in the Instant Pot. The compact space and hot air reduces total bake time.

No Oven Required

You can bake a cake without needing to heat up your large oven. Perfect for summer months when you don’t want extra heat.


Take your Instant Pot to parties, campsites, potlucks and other events to bake a cake on the spot!

Easy Clean Up

With just the inner pot to wash instead of a large oven, clean up is a breeze after baking a cake.

Cake Recipes to Try

Almost any standard cake recipe that is made with basic ingredients can be adapted to the Instant Pot cake pan. Here are some delicious cakes to try baking with your Instant Pot cake pan:

Classic Vanilla Cake

This easy vanilla cake is super moist and full of vanilla flavor. Top it with vanilla buttercream frosting.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

The tang of lemon and crunch of poppy seeds make this a refreshing cake. Glaze the top with lemon icing.

Carrot Cake

Loaded with carrots, pineapple, pecans and spice – this is a perfect moist cake for fall and winter.

Funfetti Cake

A kids’ birthday classic! White cake stuffed with rainbow sprinkles stays extra soft and fresh.

Red Velvet Cake

Rich red velvet cake with chocolatey cream cheese frosting tops this Southern favorite.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Pumpkin cake with walnuts and warm pumpkin pie spice is ideal for autumn.

Confetti Cake

White cake dotted with colorful confetti sprinkles throughout makes this a fun party cake.

Boston Cream Pie

Soft yellow cake filled with pastry cream and glazed with chocolate – delicious!

German Chocolate Cake

Layers of coconut pecan frosting enhance this decadent chocolate cake.

Strawberry Shortcake

Fresh strawberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream round out this springtime cake.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about using the Instant Pot cake pan:

What size Instant Pot do I need?

The 7-inch diameter cake pan fits all Instant Pot models 6-quarts or larger. You need at least a 6-quart to use this cake pan.

Can I bake more than one layer at a time?

Unfortunately, you can only bake one single layer cake at a time. You can then stack the layers to make a tiered cake.

Which cake recipes work best?

Standard butter- or oil-based cakes with basic ingredients bake well in the Instant Pot. Avoid delicate sponge or chiffon-style cakes.

How do I prevent a soggy bottom crust?

Use 1 cup water in the inner pot, place the trivet and cake pan on top, and wrap the pan in foil. This prevents direct contact with water.

Should I grease the cake pan first?

Greasing is not necessary since the pan has a nonstick coating. But you can lightly grease it if you’d like for extra insurance.

Do I need to adjust the recipe at all?

Mostly just reducing bake time by 5-10 minutes. Liquids may need slight reduction to account for extra moisture inside pot.

Can I make cupcakes too?

Yes, you can bake cupcakes by placing liners into a cupcake insert pan designed to fit the Instant Pot.


The Instant Pot cake pan provides an easy way to bake moist, delicious cakes using your multi-use pressure cooker. With circulating hot air and steam creating ideal cake baking conditions, you can skip heating up your oven. It makes whipping up a cake for any occasion quick and simple. Just be sure to adjust bake times, allow natural release, and test for doneness. In no time, you’ll have the perfect cake ready to enjoy!